A stalwart of the Istanbul club scene since the early 00s, Gadi Mitrani's now ready to spread his wings a little further
Gadi Mitrani has been a fixture on the Turkish club scene for a good 15 years. But in the past few years, he's started to make a bigger splash on the international stage, too.
It was his 2015 track Key Of Stillness that proved to be his breakthrough moment. Picked up by the Kompakt Records crew and released on their vinyl-only sub-label Kompakt KX, the track found its way into the box of A-listers such as Hernan Cattaneo. Since then, he's gone on to put out a string of singles on Maurice Aymard's Galaktika Records and Pablo Bolivar's Seven Villas, and found himself DJing alongside the likes of Nick Warren, Gabriel Ananda and Danny Howells.
That roll-call of high-profile supporters might tempt you to mentally file Mitrani's music in the box marked 'progressive house', but such glib categorisation would be doing him a disservice. As deft with beats as he is with melody, his is more the kind of output that finds favour right across the deep, tech and prog spectrum - and as he suggests below, possibly beyond!
Our man Danny Slade was very taken with Mitrani's last release, the Swirly Angel EP. So with brand new track Impromptu just featured on Tale & Tone's various artists EP Prologue (released last week) and his Burning Man and OFF Week debuts coming up, now seemed like a good time to grab him for a quick chat...
Your breakout release Key Of Stillness was just three years ago, but you've been active on the scene for a lot longer, haven't you? Can you tell us a bit about how you got into DJing/producing in the first place?
"Yes, I've been doing this for a long time! I've been a music fan since childhood, so I started DJing out of the passion for buying, following and discovering new music. Music was always a passion for me.
"I started producing during the 00s. My brother got me a Roland MC-303 Groovebox as a present. From there, I started to collect equipment and tried to educate myself. For a long time, both DJing and producing were like a second thing, an obsessed hobby, in my life. But finally last year I decided to focus on my passion."
I've seen your music described in many different ways: deep, proggy, techy… how do YOU describe it?
"Well, I get influenced by many different artists and genres, it's not about making a single genre. I like to do anything from deep house and progressive house to nu-disco or techno.
"One day I can work on a mellow deep house track and next day I try to do an upbeat techno track. I guess it's all about the mood at that given moment. I try to combine all genres, and do tracks like that: for example, a deep techy groove with a proggy melody, using techno FX.
What artists would you say have been the biggest influences on your production style?
"Sasha has been one of my biggest inspirations of all time. He seems to always be ahead of others. Nowadays I really enjoy the likes of Guy Mantzur, Guy J Khen, Powel, Lee Burridge, Behrouz, Modd Lucca Bachetti, Pablo Bolivar, Roy Rosenfeld, Budakid, Newman and Maurice Aymard."
What about other music - who/what do you like to listen to apart from dance music?
"I'm really into movie soundtracks: Alexandre Desplat, Johann Johannsson, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman and many more. This genre really inspires me when I produce. I got the chance to go to Hans Zimmer's concert last year in Paris, and it was one of the best musical experiences of my life.
"I also sometimes like to dig into world music and indie folk."
You're based in Istanbul. What's the club scene there like, especially given the somewhat troubled political climate in the past few years?
"The scene grew a lot over the years. We have big events every weekend, with world star names. Istanbul is one of the biggest party cities in Europe! The political agenda has nothing to do with people who are trying to have fun and like good music."
... and can dance music play a role in bringing people together there, do you think?
"Yes, of course! People love dance music, whether it's underground or not."
Our reviewer Danny Slade recently raved about your Swirly Angel EP on Galaktika Records. How did you come to hook up with them?
"Swirly Angel was my second EP on Galaktika. I sent a demo to them two years ago, and through that I met with Maurice Aymard, and he decided to make an EP with me. We released the Ocean Breeze EP and he supported me a lot since then. I also did a remix for Between Ourselves' Odyssey track after that.
"I sent my new stuff again to Maurice, and he loved it. I am very happy to be a part of Galaktika Records - always quality music."
I know you've just had a track featured on the Prologue EP, but are there any more new releases in the pipeline?
"Yes, I'm excited for my new track that will be released on Guy Mantzur's compilation on PlattenBank on this summer. I'm currently on a creative rollercoaster and producing new tracks every month."
Finally, what else is going on in Gadi Mitrani's world right now that iDJ readers need to know about?
"I am very excited to be making my Barcelona OFF Week debut at the SevenVillas & Parallel showcase on 16 June. Also I will be at Burning Man this year - I'm so excited about the journey and my gig there.
"And if we get personal, I am a lucky family man with an amazing wife and wonderful four-year-old son with whom I cherish every single moment."
Words: Russell Deeks
Tags: Gadi Mitrani, Galaktika Records, Seven Villas, Maurice Aymard, Pablo Bolivar, Burning Man, Guy Mantzur, PlattenBank, Hernan Cattaneo, deep house, progressive house, melodic techno, Tale & Tone, Istanbul, Turkey